Health Matters Newsletter

Health Center
LoGrasso Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3131 or
(716) 673-3132
(716) 673-4722 (fax)

TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT FOR SPRING BREAK?

A safe weight loss goal is aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week. The purpose of losing the weight at a steady rate is that it allows you to keep the weight off; weight loss at a faster rate usually results from losing muscle, which will decrease your metabolism. Weight loss should result from changing your lifestyle, not fad diets which DO NOT WORK LONGTERM. Did you know that 90-95% of people who lose weight regain that weight and more within 2 years?

Some key points to losing weight and keeping it off:

  • Weight loss should come from an even mix of diet, cardio, and strength training.
  • Strength training is critical to increase or at least maintaining metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories).
  • A basic calorie estimate to losing weight is to cut roughly 250 calories per day from your diet (that's a coke and a small cookie), and work to burn about 250 calories per day in activity.
  • Eat frequently. Try to eat 3-5 small meals per day to keep your metabolism burning.
  • Choose foods that are nutrient dense (i.e., foods that are high in vitamins and minerals).

Spring Break Issue - February 2006


Making Spring Break Memorable

It's been cold, and you've been busy at college with plenty of studying since the new year began. Now it's time for a break, and you want to have lots of fun and let it all hang out. While the purpose of Spring Break is to get away from regular school activities and enjoy some rest and relaxation, there are a few things to remember. Make this year's Spring Break memorable by having fun and helping yourself and your friends stay safe and healthy.

After a long cold winter, it's tempting to stay in the hot sun all day. Protection from sun exposure is important all year round. Any time the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays are able to reach the earth, you need to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure. UV rays can cause skin damage during any season or temperature. UV exposure appears to be the most important environmental factor in the development of skin cancer and a primary factor in the development of lip cancer.

Q: When do I need to protect myself from sun exposure?

A: Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer or at the beach. Relatively speaking, the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure in the continental United States. UV radiation is the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.

Remember: UV rays reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as on bright and sunny days. UV rays will also reflect off any surface like water, cement, sand, and snow.

Remember: UV rays reach you on cloudy and hazy days, as well as on bright and sunny days. UV rays will also reflect off any surface like water, cement, sand, and snow.

Q: What exactly are "ultraviolet rays"?

A: Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation. UV rays can penetrate and change the structure of skin cells.

There are three types of UV rays: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). UVA is the most abundant source of solar radiation at the earth's surface and penetrates beyond the top layer of human skin. Scientists believe that UVA radiation can cause damage to connective tissue and increase a person's risk for developing skin cancer.

UVB rays are less abundant at the earth's surface than UVA because a significant portion of UVB rays is absorbed by the ozone layer. UVB rays penetrate less deeply into the skin than do UVA rays, but also can be damaging.

UVC radiation is extremely hazardous to skin, but it is completely absorbed by the stratospheric ozone layer and does not reach the surface of the earth.

Q: What can excessive exposure to UV
rays do to my health?


A: Although getting some sun exposure can yield a few positive benefits, excessive and unprotected exposure to the sun can result in premature aging and undesirable changes in skin texture. Such exposure has been associated with various types of skin cancer, including melanoma, one of the most serious and deadly forms. UV rays also have been found to be associated with various eye conditions, such as cataracts. Sun exposure has a cumulative effect over one's lifetime. It is now thought that many skin cancers actually start from sun exposure or suntanning in the teenage years. That dark suntan that you enjoy now can actually contribute to your getting skin cancer in your later years.

Q: What is the UV Index?

A: The UV Index was developed by the National Weather Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. It provides a forecast of the expected risk of overexposure to UV rays and indicates the degree of caution you should take when working, playing, or exercising outdoors.

The UV Index predicts exposure levels on a 0-10+ scale, where 0 indicates a low risk of overexposure and 10+ means a very high risk of overexposure. The level of danger calculated for the basic categories of the index are for a person with Type II skin. For a person with type II skin, for example, an Index value of 5 or 6 represents a moderate possibility of UV overexposure.

More information about the UV Index is available at the EPA website:
http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.

Q: Not everyone burns or tans in the same
manner. Are there ways to classify different
skin types?


A: Whether individuals burn or tan depends on a number of factors, including their skin type, the time of year, and the amount of sun exposure they have received recently.

Q: Does it matter what kind of sunscreen I use?

A: Sunscreens come in a variety of forms such as lotions, gels, and sprays, so there are plenty of different options. There are also sunscreens made for specific purposes, such as the scalp, sensitive skin, and for use on babies. Regardless of the type of sunscreen you choose, be sure that you use one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and that it offers at least SPF 15.

Q: How do sunscreens work?

A: Most sun protection products work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun's rays. Such products contain chemicals that interact with the skin to protect it from UV rays. Sunscreens help prevent problems related to sun exposure, such as aging skin and precancerous growths.

Q: Are sunglasses an important part of my
sun protection plan?


A: Yes. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection. The majority of sunglasses sold in the United States, regardless of cost, meet this standard. Wrap-around sunglasses work best because they block UV rays from sneaking in from the side.

For more information on the prevention of skin cancer visit the Center for Disease Control's website at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/nscpep/.


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